Definition of Sulb

Definition of Sulb

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Quick Navigation: Intro | Definition of Sulb from: Quran / Dictionaries | Definition of Loins | Pickthall Translation | Conclusion |



Many anti-Islamic people say the Qur’an contains scientific errors. Claiming that one of these errors is in surah Tariq, 86:7. They say that sperm is not created in the backbone area.

We will refute the misunderstanding of the verse through giving a true translation of what the word ‘ Sulb ‘ means.

Then let man see from that which he was created [86:5]

Created from water gushing [semen]

Proceeding from between the backbone [sulb] and the ribs: (Tariq 86:7) – [a Commonly quoted translation.]


Answer :

1 – As for the proper definition of sulb in the context of this verse [of surah Tariq 88:6-7 ], it is ‘loins’ and NOT backbone.

Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî of writes:

The word “ sulb ” should not necessarily be translated as “backbone”. This word has many possible meanings and backbone is only one of them. It is also quite commonly used to mean the loins of a man. This is how it is used elsewhere in the Qur’ân.

Allah says: “ Prohibited to you (for marriage) are…wives of your sons proceeding from your loins (aslâb , the plural of sulb).” [Sûrah al- Nisâ’4 :23 ] There can be no problem with sperm coming out from the area of a man’s loins.

Dictionaries define Sulb as Loins:

We refer the reader to p.226 of The Concise Oxford English Arabic Dictionary . The English word ‘loins’ is translated as ‘ sulb ‘.
(source:…/dp/0198643217 )

We refer the reader to p.231 of Hippocrene Standard Dictionary Arabic-English English-Arabic by John Wortabet, in which once again, the only definition of the word loins is ‘ sulb ‘.
(source:…6200382&sr=1-1 )

It is a simple matter of driving down to Barnes and Noble or another bookstore to verify these definitions. But if the reader is too lazy to do that, here is an online reference.

On p.146 of An English and Arabic Dictionary by Joseph Catafago, notice that the only definition given for the word ‘salbi’ is ‘proceeding from the loins’.

(click here to view:…=5&ct =result )

Here is another online reference: on p.791 of A Comprehensive Persian English Dictionary: Including the Arabic Words , we see that the first definition of the word ‘sulbi’ is ‘proceeding from the loins’.
(click here:…um=4&ct=result )

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The famous translation of the meaning of the Qur’an by Pickthall uses this word;

That issued from between the loins and ribs. [Tariq 85:7 – Pickthall translation.]

Definition of Loins in English:

S: (n) pubes , pubic region , loins (the lower part of the abdomen just above the external genital organs )

  • S: (n) loins (the region of the hips and groin and lower abdomen)


For More Examples and Explanation, See;


There is no Scientific error in the Qur’an in regard to the useage of the word ‘Sulb’. Since the male sperm does come out of the Loins (Groin area i.e. Testes.) As has been explained above.

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